INHERENT IN ANY TRANSACTION IS THE POTENTIAL, once in a while, for misunderstandings between manufacturers and customers when it comes to the products that we buy. Sometimes, a product doesn’t live up to expectations. Sometimes, communications may be unclear. And some- times, honest mistakes are made. Helping to resolve these disputes, and
therefore keeping boaters in boating, is what BoatU.S. Consumer Protection
has been doing for more than 40 years.
By involving our members and manufacturers in the BoatU.S. mediation process, we’ve been
able to resolve thousands of complaints. Over the years, we’ve found that most marine companies are ethical, reasonable, and strive to solve problems. Those companies know that there are
two sides to every disagreement, and understand the value of retaining long-term customers.
As a neutral third party, we’re able to open communications, and elevate them when necessary,
while reducing the emotion level, which often leads to a solution. While we can’t resolve every
complaint, we’re successful in many cases. Here’s a sampling of disputes over the last year that
were resolved after BoatU.S. Consumer Protection became involved.
GETTING TO YES
At some point, every manufacturer or dealer experiences a problem with one of their
products. What’s important is what the company does to resolve the situation
BoatU.S. CONSUMER PROTECTION BY CHARLES FORT
A PROBLEM MANUAL:
Like many boat owners, Roger
Steinert likes doing his own
maintenance. A few years after
buying his new 2007 Bayliner
212 from a dealer in New Jersey,
he followed the detailed instructions in the owner’s manual and
winterized his engine. Steinert
did everything by the book;
unfortunately, the manual supplied with his boat showed
a winterizing procedure for a
different engine. The following
spring, Steinert found that his
engine block had cracked over
the winter. The manual, he later
learned, didn’t mention a couple
of key places to drain water from
THE SOLUTION: Faced with
over $5,000 in repairs, Steinert
contacted BoatU.S. Consumer
Protection, and we contacted
Mercury’s parent company,
Brunswick, which owns over 30
marine companies. Brunswick
responded promptly and sent
Steinert a check for the full
amount of the engine – and a
new owner’s manual.
These companies demonstrated their
commitment to customer service by
responding to our members’ concerns
and participating in finding a solution.
In future issues, we’ll honor more companies that recognize the importance of
excellent customer service after the sale.
While it can’t solve every
dispute, BoatU.S. Consumer
Protection tries to put the
smile back on boaters’ faces.